Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
She used the oldest trick in the book. Like a scene out of the movies, 17-year-old Refiloe Madiba deluded her parents in the same manner wayward teenagers the world over do.
But now, her parents are frantic. On Saturday Refiloe of Moletsane, Soweto, planned to go to the Soweto beach party with her cousins.
The cousins later decided against going to the party but Refiloe had other ideas.
Her parents are renovating their house, so the teenager lives alone in a backroom in the yard.
Her father, Chunky, locked her room at 8pm and went to sleep.
The next morning when her mother, Elizabeth, went to check if her daughter had any dirty clothes that needed washing, she was greeted by three teddy bears stuffed under the bedding where Refiloe was supposed to be sleeping.
A big teddy bear was piled at the top of the bed and two small ones at the bottom.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Refiloe sent a text message to her sister-in-law Lele Mathe and informed her that she had been arrested.
"She did not indicate which police station and what she did," Mathe said.
Her cellphone is now on voicemail. The desperate family has looked for her at her friends' homes, hospitals, police stations and yet there is no sign of the Grade 10 pupil at Lenceister High School in Eldorado Park.
Yesterday when it was suggested that the family look for her at the Diepkloof government mortuary her sobbing mother said: "I cannot do it. I do not have the heart to identify my little girl."
Madiba said that her daughter was never naughty but in the last couple of months she had started coming home late.
Sowetan went to the mortuary with Mathe and Rose Serobe, her aunt. The girl at the mortuary fitted Refiloe's profile. Aged between 15 and 16, she was attacked after the beach party.
The bare-chested girl had three gaping stab wounds in her neck and wore a short denim skirt. It is suspected that she was raped.
The girl was not Refiloe. Captain Nomvula Mbense said she had not been identified yet.
When Madiba was informed that the girl at the mortuary was not her daughter, she cried tears of relief and frustration.
"Where is my daughter then?" she sobbed.